Fresh Del Monte posts break-even results for 4Q

Fresh Del Monte Produce reports break-even results for 4th quarter as expenses decline

Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Fresh Del Monte Produce reported breakeven results for its fourth quarter, driven by reduced expenses and lower charges.

The quarterly performance compares with a loss of $10.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Fresh Del Monte's current quarter included impairment and other charges totaling $100,000. A year ago, these charges totaled $3.5 million.

Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped to $40 million from $48.8 million. There was also a larger income tax provision in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the period ended Dec. 28 dipped 1 percent to $776.9 million from $780.8 million.

The company said Tuesday that its revenue results were hurt by lower sales from its banana segment, which was somewhat offset by better sales from its other fresh produce division.

For the year, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. earned $143.2 million, or $2.46 per share. In the previous year the Coral Gables, Fla. company earned $92.5 million, or $1.56 per share.

Adjusted earnings were $2.54 per share.

Annual revenue fell 5 percent to $3.42 billion from $3.59 billion.

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